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Old 02-25-2010, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 31.175 mpg calculated. ouch!

Well that probably got your attention, but it's true. Here is the whole story behind my car, my driving style, and the trip.

First the car: I just bought it about a week ago. It is the I2 EX (no navigation). This car was a dealer demo car so they have had it for 11 months and it had 610 miles on it. I put about 100 miles on it running around town before this trip. On my trip from Pocatello to Coeur D'alene the tire pressure was 33psi in all 4, I moved it up to 38psi while I was there.

My driving style is "normal". Not Hypermilage style, and not race car (I have an S2000 for that) style, but pretty much with the flow of the other two cars at the stop light. I usually set curse at 78mph and just let it sit there on the freeway. Around town, I am pretty close to the speed limit as racing around town doesn't actually save any time, towns not big enough for that.

The trip: I live here in Pocatello Idaho, which is in the South East region of the state and sits about 4800 foot of elevation. I drove to Coeur D'alene (CDA) Idaho which is about 530 miles from here. To get there I drive I-15 North to Butte MT(250 miles), Turn left on I-90 and continue to CDA(280 miles). I think Butte sits somewhere around 5000 foot, and CDA is something like 2020. There highest pass is between 6000 feet and 7000 feet. The first leg of my trip was Pocatello to Butte. This is where the trip meter said 34.5mpg and when I filled it, I calculated it at 31.175mpg. This was rather low I though. I know the owners manual mentions that the break-in period is something like 600 miles, but I am figuring the first almost year, only 610 miles were put on this car, so if anything I could see the fuel gumming up the spark plugs etc, not actually breaking in the car. I bet it never even got fully warmed up! Anyway. The second leg of the trip was from Butte to CDA, greatly down hill with only a couple passes in it. This resulted in 37.1mpg calculated. While I was in CDA I did a trip to Spokane WA in the evening with the weather about freezing give or take a few degrees. This resulted in the best fuel economy yet at 41mpg calculated, but was slow at 60 to 65 with enough traffic that the air flow was broken up. The drive home from CDA back to Butte it got about 38mpg with cruse at 76mph, and the calculated was spot on with the trip meter. Then the last leg from Butte to Pocatello I again had the cruse set at 76, but there was a horrendous head wind all the way back. This leg resulted in the trip meter of 36.1mpg. I haven't filled the tank yet so I haven't calculated it, but I have hopes that is accurate.

Does anybody have record of there driving style Vs. millage Vs. miles on the car? Does this look like the normal break in progression? Also, is there any kind of firmware update as this car is about a year old in reality.

Another thing I noticed was this whole trip I had the ECON on. The first 100 miles or more are at a constant slow uphill slope. With the cruse set at 78 it would vary 78 to 74mph. Also the assist would turn on for 30 second to a minute, then it would shift to charge. This would move back and forth constantly for the same speed even. I have no idea what kind of algrythm this car has, but if everything is constant like that, I would think it would just sit at a throttle level and not be messing with discharge and charge on the assist. Any ideas with that?

I have spent a couple days reading other posts, I think 31mpg is way below everything. I also see 50, 60mpg posted a lot. How fast are people driving to get this? Cruse at 35mph? Do you have to live at sea level in Florida to get this?

Thank you.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I should also add that I read a thread about break in where it looks like people are seeing key points at say 1k, 3k, and 5k miles. But has anybody started out at this low of millage? I think I am now at 1850mi on mine.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your speed is probably the main thing that is reducing your mileage. No one is getting near 50 MPG at 78 mph. The EPA highway number of 43 is for slower speeds in warmer temperatures. The hybrid technology is not helping on the highway, only the low drag coefficient and small, efficient engine. The annoying charge/discharge cycle on long uphills is only lessening your mileage by incurring the road trip losses of charging/discharging the battery. I too am surprised that it does this behavior. After break in, you may get few more MPG, but I think you will be lucky to achieve even 40 MPG at 78mph in hilly terrain in the winter.

I have noticed the gas quality matters, I used to think all gas was the same, but Shell (so called Tier 1 gas) seems to do a lot better than Hess. I get from 43 to 48 actual on the highway, but I travel around 60 MPH to acheive this, and highways here are relatively flat.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Your speed is probably the main thing that is reducing your mileage. No one is getting near 50 MPG at 78 mph.
I agree, though the combination of high altitude (thinner air), cool temps, and low miles on the car may be contributing also.

In January, I got about 45 mpg (real mpg, about 47 on MID) round trip Boston-NY running mostly in the 60-70 mph range on mostly rolling hills terrain, with a little bit of city driving on each end of the trip. My I2 had about 4K miles when I made that trip.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just bought mine about a month ago here in Texas. It has about 200 miles on it and i get between 30-33MPG with econ mode on. Its prettty flat out here but its been anywhere 30-50 degrees. I hope that when the temp gets a little warmer and i put some more miles on it it improves. None the less i frickin love it!
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have no delusion of getting 50 mpg at 78 at this elevation. I do however have hopes. I know the drag force is a square of the speed relationship. I am surprised that cool weather actually decreases economy though. It should increase O2 density for more efficient burning and greater delta in temperature resulting in more expansion in the cylinder ultimately resulting in more power. With a drag coefficient less then one I would think this would out weigh the increased frictional/drag on the car. This is obviously not the case with everybody's input. I know in Washington state they would use Ethanal blend in the winter which has less energy per gallon (volume) of fuel. Is this the true cause of less F/E?

Anyway, back to the overall, is it really unreasonable to expect 40mpg at these speeds? There really is a lot of nothing out here. When I travel I usually go 200 to 300 miles before I have to kick cruse off, I would much rather keep my speed up.

I also understand that the electric assist does no good at highway speeds, I am counting more on the efficiency of the motor and drag to give me better economy. Right now the 2004 Toyota Tracell is getting 35mpg in the same trip/conditions. I would hope this would have an edge on that!

I was happy this evening it looks like my running around town is coming in about 48mpg (per computer) which is 10mpg better then it did before this last weekends trip, so there is some great improvement there.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do think the car is great. This last weekend I put my skis/gear, mtn bike, disk golf gear, racquetball gear, sleeping bag, cloths etc all in this car and didn't block any of the view out the rear window. I did have to move the passanger seat all the way up for the skis to sit flat and be straight from the back of the car forward, but I travel alone so it doesn't matter at all, take the head rest off and it doesn't impede my view either.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhbikerczar View Post
Anyway, back to the overall, is it really unreasonable to expect 40mpg at these speeds?
I don't know how much difference the altitude makes, but here in the northeast, near sea level, I would expect around 40 mpg at speeds in the high 70s, and maybe even a little better in the summer, though I haven't traveled that speed for any great distance so don't have any real data.

With regard to mpg decline in the winter - I suspect the winter gas mix for smog control has as much, if not more, impact on mpg than the air temp - though maybe the denser air has a bigger impact on drag than I suspect.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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First, I'd say turn ECON off on the highway. You'll probably gain a good 3-4 mpg with it off, and using cruise control. ECON is better suited for in town, and slower driving.

You'll gain another 2mpg or so after 3000 miles, and maybe another 1-2 after 10k.

Then you'll gain a good 5 come summer with the warmer weather.

If you can, slow down, but I know that's big country and would take forever to get anywhere going just 60 mph. However, it's easy to hit 50mpg, cruising, with ECON off, just going 60mph.

But if slowing down isn't worth it to you, don't worry about it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah, im not too worried about it. Its the first new car i've had in 10 years so im very happy with the 30-33 im getting. My truck only gets around 13 which is why it sits in the garage all the time
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